Your Name and Title: Keith Weimer, Librarian for History and Religious Studies
Library, School, or Organization Name: University of Virginia Library
Co-Presenter Name(s): N-A
Area of the World from Which You Will Present: United States
Language in Which You Will Present: English
Target Audience(s): Any, may be of interest to public and K-12 as well as academic librarians and even a general audience.
Short Session Description (one line): Examines currents in book censorship in Virginia history in the context of national trends, indicating that race and sexuality have been recurring themes from colonial times to the present, especially when some form of governmental authority has been invoked to support censorship efforts.
Full Session Description (as long as you would like): An examination of the history of book censorship in Virginia can help set the current wave of challenges to library materials in long-term context, indicating that these campaigns represent a new phase in a long history in which race and sexuality have been at the heart of book challenges, especially in periods of backlash to social change. Virginia, a state situated at the crossroads of "North" and "South," has at times followed, and at other times influenced national trends. This article will provide an overview of the history of book censorship in Virginia, concentrating on several episodes from 1960-present that have had implications for a broad range of reading material and affected state or local politics, setting these recent events in the longer arc of Virginia and United States history. Challenges to books have recurringly led to demands for removal of more books after the initial challenges were successful.
Websites / URLs Associated with Your Session: I don't have a URL available yet, but this presentation represents the outline of an article that has been accepted for publication in Virginia Libraries.